Future homebuyers in British Columbia will be carrying higher levels of debt than their peers in other parts of Canada according to a new report.

The study by Vancity of student debt between 2000 and 2015 found that BC students had average debt of $30,586 at graduation, a rise of 52% over the 15-year period. That’s compared to a 32% rise elsewhere in Canada to $26,819.

With the province also having some of the country’s highest home prices, the additional debt is likely to further restrict the ability of potential first-time buyers.

“Students are facing a tough road with education costs that continue to outpace inflation, as well as a precarious employment environment. That means It's more important than ever for students and where possible, their families, to start planning and saving early,” said Sophie Salcito, investment advisor at Vancity.

The study also revealed that a larger share (64%) of BC students are working part-time compared to other parts of Canada (59%) and are working almost three hours a week longer.

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